Monday, January 23, 2012

Trumpeter Swans


I headed out to Cooley Lake today to see if I could find the swans my friend Phil Jeffries photographed the other day...sure enough, I did, but couldn't get really close. It was cold and very windy, so I sat in my car to sketch these huge birds...

This is the view from my Jeep "studio."  If you look close you can see the swans out there in the mudflats.

I couldn't see that well, even with my little binoculars, but this was my start, with my old rehabbed Winsor & Newton sketch kit.

A bit further along, working in cramped--but warmer!--conditions.

I managed to get some decent shots with my new Canon, which is what I used to work from  on the right hand page of this spread.  Even with the binoculars I really couldn't see much.  The camera did a much better job!

I'm glad Phil got such a great photo of the immature swan...if it had been younger, the beak would have retained some pink color, so it much have been almost fully grown.

Thank you, Phil Jeffries, for sharing this wonderful photo...Phil's photographs are often in Missouri Department of Conservation publications.

Trumpeters are returning to their historic territories, from the brink of extinction...they were very rare only a few years ago.

19 comments:

  1. Lovely sketch and subject matter.

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  2. Fab sketch. Loved hearing about them and how yo overcame the (distant) obstacles.

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  3. Aaah, they are beautiful Kate! Great sketches and wonderful information!

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  4. I never tire of viewing your exquisite watercolors!! This one's great! and done under difficult circumstances

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  5. what an amazing shapes and colors!

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  6. I like the way to tell a story through your drawings!

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  7. Thanks, all! Teri, I couldn't get my monopod to work (I think I was too frozen for my BRAIN to work!) so I walked down to the lake where there was a fence post to rest the camera on.

    I did the sketches you see here without references, from the car (with an occasional peek through my binoculars), and then when I got home used the photos to refine the shadows on the big birds, which I couldn't see from the road.

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  8. Love these pages Kate. Your sense of composition never fails to amaze me.

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  9. Wonderful sketches of the swans' heads, Kathy. I admire you for getting out there to sketch and paint.

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  10. Thank you all! I really love being out there...

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  11. Love the sketch book Cathy, an inspiration!

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  12. Wonderful sketches, I would like to draw it like this!

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  13. Goodness, Sandro, thank you...you're quite wonderful! And Steward, thanks much!

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  14. I stopped in to take a peak at what is new and this one stopped me. I said I bet that is Kate. We have them in the Outer Banks at Pea Island Wildlife Refuge this time of year and yes - they will not let us get close. I love them for their amazing journey that they make each year and the honks too. Smiles Linda

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  15. Aren't they amazing creatures, Linda? I'm thrilled to see them here again...

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